The origin of this variation of the Stayman conventional method is unknown. It is rumored to have originated in France and continues to be employed in this country by many partnerships.

Basics of the Concept

The concept allows the partnership to determine more accurately the distributional holding of the No Trump bidder, even the distribution of the Minor suits since the concept can also allow the discovery of a 4-4 or 5-4 Minor suit fit. The responder must meet the requirement that he hold at least game values.

     
     

Spring Stayman

With this conventional method it does not become necessary for the No Trump bidder to reveal either minimum or maximum values. Although normally employed with a No Trump range between 15-17 points, the conventional method can be value-adjusted for any No Trump range.

The distribution of the responder must also meet a certain requirement and that is a distributional pattern of no 4-card Major suit and at least a 4-4 or more distributional pattern in both Minor suits. Therefore the distributional pattern is either 2-3-4-4, 2-2-4-5, 1-2-5-5 or any other distribution pattern with at least a 4-4 distribution in both Minor suits.

Note: If this is not the case and the responder has a 4-card Major suit, then the normal Stayman responses are employed.

The function of the concept is shown in the following examples:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2       A normal Stayman conventional response, which denies possession of a 4-card Major suit.
2       A normal Stayman conventional response showing a 4-card Heart suit, and which does not deny possession of a 4-card Spade suit.
2       A normal Stayman conventional response showing a 4-card Spade suit.
    3   This rebid by responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method describing a distributional shape of at least 4 cards in both Minor suits. This rebid is completely artificial, game forcing, and requests that the No Trump bidder continue to describe his holding.

Spring Stayman Continuations

The No Trump bidder must respond differently to the Spring Stayman request according to the preceding bids in the auction, as shown in the following diagram:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2       This rebid denies any 4-card Major suit. These two possible rebids may be employed by the partnership to show minimum or maximum values.
2 NT       This rebid denies any 4-card Major suit. These two possible rebids may be employed by the partnership to show minimum or maximum values.
    3   This rebid by responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method describing a distributional shape of at least 4 cards in both Minor suits. This rebid is completely artificial, game forcing, and requests that the No Trump bidder continue to describe his holding.
3       Shows a distribution of 4-3-3-3 with a 4-card Diamond suit.
3       Shows a distribution of 4-4-3-2 with a 4-card Heart suit.
3       Shows a distribution of 4-4-3-2 with a 3-card Spade suit.
3 NT       Shows a distribution 4-3-3-3 with a 4-card Club suit.
4       Shows a distribution of 5-3-3-2 with a 5-card Club suit.
4       Shows a distribution of 5-3-3-2 with a 5-card Diamond suit.

To distinguish between a weak 5-card Minor suit and a stronger 5-card Minor suit, the weak 5-card Minor suit is shown as a 4-card Minor suit. A weak 5-card Minor suit is defined as a suit with fewer than two of the top honors or three of any honors.

Continuations

Once the Spring Stayman conventional method has been initiated, the responder has an almost accurate description of the shape and pattern of the No Trump bidder. However, once the bidding sequence has shown that the No Trump bidder holds no 4-card Major suit, the partnership has to have an accurate understanding. The general outline of the response method is shown below.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2       This rebid denies any 4-card Major suit. These two possible rebids may be employed by the partnership to show minimum or maximum values.
2 NT       This rebid denies any 4-card Major suit. These two possible rebids may be employed by the partnership to show minimum or maximum values.
    3   This rebid by responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method describing a distributional shape of at least 4 cards in both Minor suits. This rebid is completely artificial, game forcing, and requests that the No Trump bidder continue to describe his holding.
4       Shows a distribution of 5-3-3-2 with a 5-card Club suit.
    4/4/4   These rebids are idle bids with no prescribed meaning. They show only that the responder has no wish to play in a Minor suit since there is no Minor suit fit. They show also no desire to attempt slam, therefore they are not intended as control showing cuebids. Note: These particular rebids may be used to show a 4-card suit. Note: These rebids can become by partnership agreement control showing cuebids for a Club suit slam try. Normally the No Trump bidder then bids 4 No Trump, which is a sign-off and establishes the final contract.
    4 NT   Ask-asking or Keycard-asking bid establishing Clubs as the trump suit.
    5   To play in a Minor suit game contract instead of No Trump.
         
4       Shows a distribution of 5-3-3-2 with a 5-card Diamond suit.
    4/4   These rebids are idle bids with no prescribed meaning. They show only that the responder has no wish to play in a Minor suit since there is no Minor suit fit. They show also no desire to attempt slam, therefore they are not intended as control showing cuebids. Note: These particular rebids may be used to show a 4-card suit. Note: These rebids can become by partnership agreement control showing cuebids for a Diamond suit slam try. Normally the No Trump bidder then bids 4 No Trump, which is a sign-off and establishes the final contract.
    4 NT   Ask-asking or Keycard-asking bid establishing Clubs as the trump suit.
    5   To play in a Minor suit game contract instead of No Trump.

Continuations by the No Trump Bidder

The rebids of the No Trump bidder become different as soon as the bidding sequence has shown that the No Trump bidder holds a 4-card Heart suit:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2       This is a normal Stayman conventional response showing a 4-card Heart suit.
    3   This rebid by responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method describing a distributional shape of at least 4 cards in both Minor suits. This rebid is completely artificial, game forcing, and requests that the No Trump bidder continue to describe his holding.
3       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution with a 4-card Diamond suit.
    3   This is a relay bid after the 3 rebid by opener requesting the opener to name the 3-card suit. A rebid by opener of 3 promises a 3-card Spade suit and 3NT promises a 3-card Club suit.
         
3       Shows a 4-3-3-3 distribution.
3       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution. Since the opener has already shown a 4-card Heart suit, a rebid of 3 shows a 3-card Spade suit and therefore a 4-card Club suit.
3 NT       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution. Since the opener has already shown a 4-card Heart suit, a rebid of 3NT shows a 3-card Diamond suit and therefore a 4-card Club suit.

Continuations by the No Trump Bidder

The rebids of the No Trump bidder become different as soon as the bidding sequence has shown that the No Trump bidder holds a 4-card Spade suit:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2       This is a normal Stayman conventional response showing a 4-card Spade suit.
    3   This rebid by responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method. This rebid is completely artificial, game forcing, and requests that the No Trump bidder continue to describe his holding.
3       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution with a 4-card Diamond suit.
    3   This is a relay bid after the 3 rebid by opener requesting the opener to name the 3-card suit. A rebid by opener of 3 promises a 3-card Heart suit and 3NT promises a 3-card Club suit.
         
3       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution with a 4-card Club suit and a 3-card Heart suit.
3       Shows a 4-3-3-3 distribution.
3 NT       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution with a 4-card Club suit and a 3-card Diamond suit.

Variation of Spring Stayman

This variation of the Spring Stayman conventional method can also be employed when the No Trump bidder has both a 4-card Heart suit and a 4-card Spade suit. The No Trump bidder describes this particular holding in the following manner with the following rebid:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Generally between 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method in its original version asking for a 4-card Major suit.
3       As a feature of the Spring Stayman conventional method the No Trump bidder has described a 4-4-3-2 distribution. The responder initiated the Stayman conventional method, but the No Trump bidder is able to describe his distribution in this manner holding both 4-card Major suits.
    3   The responder initiates the Spring Stayman conventional method in order to discover the 3-card suit.
3       Shows a 4-4-2-3 distribution with a 3-card Club suit.
3       Shows a 4-4-3-2 distribution with a 3-card Diamond suit.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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